TRAI Advises Consumers to Check Applicable Charges While Joining Online Conference Platforms

The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) on Monday issued an advisory to the public to exercise due care while joining online conference platforms through audio calls after few consumers experienced “bill shocks” when they joined online conferencing platforms, inadvertently dialling international numbers.

“It has been brought to the notice of TRAI that few consumers have experienced bill shocks when they joined online conferencing platforms inadvertently dialling international telephone numbers. Considering that a large number of members of public have been using online conferencing platforms due to continued lockdown to check the spread of COVID-19, it is necessary to alert them to check applicable charges for dialling such numbers/ helplines of such platform/App providers,” the TRAI advisory read.

“Incidents have also come to the knowledge where the customer care centres of some of such service providers are either premium numbers or international numbers. Obviously, the members of the public who use such services inadvertently may have to pay higher rates applicable to premium numbers or international numbers which would imply application of ISD tariffs,” it added.

The regulatory body urged the people to carefully check the terms and conditions before using dial-in service provided by online conferencing platforms and cost applicable for contacting the customer care centres of such platform in terms of tariff for voice calls and other charges as may be applied by the service providers.

“Thus, all the members of the public are advised to exercise full caution and make themselves aware of the details of terms and conditions of using the online conferencing services particularly nature of numbers to which voice calls have to be made for joining the online conference and/or contacting customer support and details of tariff applicable for each of such services,” it read.

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